Spousal Maintenance On Divorce
This is a continued obligation for one party to pay the other a weekly or monthly sum of money post separation and on pronouncement of a decree. Consideration needs to be given as to whether the periodical payments should be made only while the receiving party adjusts without undue hardship to the termination of their financial dependents on the payer.
Spousal’s periodical payments are to provide maintenance for a party and may be used to assist in achieving a fair outcome on divorce, bearing in mind the principles of needs, compensation and sharing.
Breaking these down the court’s approach is:
where it is the Applicant’s financial needs or the reasonable requirements for spousal maintenance
Compensation – a generous assessment of the spouse’s continuing needs is made. This is unrestricted by purely budgetary considerations given contribution to the marriage and the board effect of the sacrifice of an Applicant’s own earning capacity or ability to provide for their own needs following the end of a marriage.
Sharing – this principle is applied to provide each party with an equal share of the assets in appropriate cases. Factors which give rise to sharing such as contributions to the marriage feature in an assessment of a fair division of income.
Guidance has been given by Justice Mostin in the case of SSVNS 2014 on the principle issues surrounding spousal maintenance. Considered applicable case law and views of the law commission; there are altogether 11 applicable principles in respect of spousal maintenance.
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